Walmart said it is limiting purchases of some types of products, including paper products, milk, eggs and hand sanitizer in response to panic buying amid the widening coronavirus pandemic. Although manufacturers report no shortages of toilet paper, for instance, stores are struggling to keep shelves stocked with that and other essentials because of hoarding.
"Our stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food," Walmart said on its corporate blog on Wednesday.
Some products are in short supply across the U.S. as anxious consumers stockpile basic goods. That includes hand sanitizer, with some buyers trying to resell the products at higher prices.
Because of the surge in panic buying, stores are changing their hours to give workers more time to restock their shelves. Walmart said it will adjust the hours for some stores, and also temporarily close its auto centers so workers can be redirected to restocking and cleaning its stores.
"Every one of us has had to adjust our daily routines in some way, and it's likely that could continue," Dacona Smith, chief operating officer of Walmart's U.S. division, said in the blog post.
Walmart, which had already cut its hours to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., said its locations will now be open to customers from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue with those hours, it added.
The company also said it will host one-hour of "senior shopping" on Tuesdays for people who are 60 and older, starting one hour before stores open. The senior shopping service will run from March 24 through April 28.